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What’s In A Name?

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Opening Our Doors

In 1999, Wil-Clair opened its doors as Kansas City’s newest sheet metal shop. Since then, hundreds of customers have trusted our company with a variety of projects. From Tyson, to Kelloggs, and locals around the city, our team has provided timely and accurate sheet metal products since we hung the “open” sign on the front door.

The History Of Wil-Clair

Many people walk in and out of our shop, but few have ever asked about our story. Most people assume that the name “Wil-Clair” arose from two founding business partners. The real story, will give you a better insight on our history and our company values.

John Svetlecic, CEO of Wil-Clair, started this business with a passion for the welding industry. He spent his career learning the trade and perfecting his craft. During his early years, he was mentored by Wilber Wilcox. Wilber had a philosophy that people should think for themselves. “If Wil asked you how to solve a problem and you said you didn’t know, he’d fire you. He didn’t want to work with people who couldn’t think for themselves. Even if your idea wasn’t the best one, he encouraged his staff to think of a solution.” says John. Wilcox always expected more from his employees. Even if they were performing well, Wilber would push his staff to the next level. This training played a huge role in the way John has operated his business over the last two decades. A plaque hangs in Johns office that reads ” The Impossible Only Takes A Little Longer”, Wilber’s signature quote.

“Clair” arose from a loving colleague and friend. Svetlecic was best friends with a man by the name of Clarence Schmidt. They both shared a passion for the sheet metal industry. They worked along side each other for many years. Svetlecic and Schmidt perfected their trade together, and assisted the other when needed. Schmidt passed away from cancer before he hit his 50s. Svetlecic admired Schmidt’s positive attitude and perseverance.

When Svetlecic decided to start his own sheet metal business, a lot of time and effort when into every decision. The easiest decision was the company name.


(Above: Plaque that hangs in Svetlecic’s office)


The Future Of Wil-Clair

CEO, John Svetlecic, hopes that his company will forever uphold the values introduced by Wilber Wilcox and Clarence Schmidt. The name “Wil-Clair” represents the passion and hard work that went into starting this business. The name serves as a constant reminder of the company’s purpose, values, and mission.

Wil-Clair is committed to providing a highly trained, safe and managed workforce that is capable of generating a project from customer concept to product completion. We hope that we will serve as your go-to for all your sheet metal needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions at (816) 471-0141.


By: B.E. Marketing

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